New York State Flag and
Great Seal of the State of New York
The device of arms of the State flag was adopted in 1778 and the present flag is a modern version of a Revolutionary War Flag. The original is at the Albany Institute of History and Art.
The State Flag depicts the Great Seal of the State of New York (pictured right) on a blue background. In the center of the Great Seal is a shield, which shows two ships on a river; in the background are three mountains and centered above is a golden sun in a blue sky. Above the shield is an American eagle, wings spread, atop a globe. The figures on either side of the shield represent Liberty and Justice. On a banner below is the State motto, Excelsior, which means "Ever Upward."
The Secretary of State is the custodian of the Great Seal of the State of New York, which is used to authenticate official records of the State. The Secretary of State may authorize the use of the seal for certain educational or commemorative purposes pursuant to State Law section 74.
See the NYS Department of State's web site for: